Interesting Hebrew Manuscript

I found this at a relative's house: a bound manuscript, text probably written in the 18th century, containing some Christian prayers in Hebrew and the text of Psalms. Looks to have been written by a Jesuit missionary, probably as an exercise in learning biblical Hebrew. As a specimen of calligraphy it's pretty abysmal, but it gives interesting insight into an outsider's perception of the Hebrew alphabet. The way the author (or possibly authors) structure the letters is often different from what I grew up with. Note especially the Mem, Shin, Tet and Pey. Some of the characters (the Mem especially) afforded me a minor epiphany or two about their typographic forms vs. handwritten. Also, the Aleph occasionally gets some pseudo-calligraphic swashiness.

hrant's picture

Very interesting!
Some deep letterwise analysis might yield
clues about how non-natives makes letters.


david h's picture

Interesting -- as a piece of History. Not calligraphy.

That wasn't an exercise unless the scribe stated that. That said, the scribe will write a colophon where he states, when he wrote the copy, from where he got the copy etc etc .

The aim was to have a pocket book to carry with while traveling and such. Whoever wrote this book had another MS in front of him! I really doubt that he knew the book of Psalms by heart.

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